Building all new sets and costumes for a full-length ballet like Giselle takes an incredible amount of human energy and talent. Larae Hascall, PNB’s costume shop manager, sums it up like this: “We’ve hired drapers, stitchers, and crafts people from all across the Seattle costume world. The hours would be impossible to calculate unless you take every time sheet since last April and add it all up. Certainly thousands of hours. Since Jérôme [Kaplan] visited in February, we have worked solely on Giselle.”
In short, it’s pretty hard to quantify everything that’s going into this new production, but here’s our best shot at it:
1. There are 82 costumes worn in each performance (although PNB’s Costume Shop also builds duplicates for principals and several other roles).
2. The Costume Shop has used over 30 suppliers, including local vendors and some from Oregon, California, New York, England, and even Germany.
3. Over 800 yards of ribbon trim (8 football field lengths) are used on women’s costumes.
4. Approximately 900 buttons have been hand-sewn to the garments.
5. The tulle in Act I women’s skirts = 550 yards (5 ½ football fields)
6. Number of top hats worn in each performance = 13
7. The costumes for each Wili (there are 19) requires 6 layers of material (4 layers of tulle and 2 layers of silk). Each Wili requires 87 yards of material…1,653 yards total!
8. Seven carpenters and eleven scenic artists have been working on the Giselle scenery since October of last year.
9. Over 4,000 square yards of muslin and 150+ gallons of paint went into creating the scenery,